The service, available to members of Hilton’s loyalty scheme, enables guests to unlock their room and other relevant areas such as fitness centres with their mobile phones.

The technology is activated the day before arrival, and means Hilton Honors members who book directly can select their desired room on a smartphone using digital check-in. They will then be asked if they’d like the option of a digital key during their stay.

On the day of arrival (once the room is ready), they will receive a notification via the app. When the guest approaches their hotel room, they can simply press the virtual “unlock” button on the app to unlock the door.

Speaking to BBT’s sister title Business Traveller, Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer, Hilton, explained that while the intention was for this “Straight-to-Room” technology to work in the UK, “At the moment the guest registration process requires us to see the passport of non-UK guests, but we are going to build the technology into the app this year so that all Hilton Honors members with the app can completely by-pass the check-in desk.”

The UK rollout will start with 10 hotels before moving into 100 properties by the end of 2017 and 2,500 globally.

Hilton also confirmed Honors members that book direct get a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount and free wifi.

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